Irish government passes amendment to Gaming and Lotteries Bill

The Irish Government has passed a Sinn Féin amendment to the country’s Gaming and Lotteries Bill which will see the cap on prize money handed out by bingo operators increased from 50% to 75%.

The decision comes after previous policy proposals came under scrutiny from industry stakeholders over fears that it would force bingo halls to close around the country.

Independent TD Denis Naughten welcomed the news by saying: “This is what bingo players have been looking for.

“All of us as TDs have been contacted by organisers and bingo players across the country.

“We are now back to a situation where whatever was the usual that was given out can continue to be given out in community halls right across this country.”

The amendment now means that the majority of community-run bingo games will not be affected, with Naughten emphasising that there will be no change to the current system for many bingo players.

“It has now changed to 75% where the prize money is in excess of €5,000,” he explained. “Where the prize money is less than that the current rules continue to apply.

“This is a very positive development and it is great to see all of the TDs from all the political parties in Dáil Eireann unite to get this particular proposal over the line.”